On 6 August 2015, PHAP organized a live online consultation event in support of the World Humanitarian Summit on the topic of Gender-Based Violence in Humanitarian Crises.

Note: The event also included an Online Learning Session on Addressing gender-based violence in emergencies - to access the assessments for this session, please see the separate session page.

Event description

The UN Secretary-General has called violence against women and girls a global “pandemic.” The creation of the UN Action Against Sexual Violence in Conflict, as well as recent concern over increasing rates of child marriage amongst Syrian refugees and trafficking of girls after the earthquake in Nepal, are all examples of how this has become a priority area for improving response to humanitarian crises. But has this increasing attention so far translated into any changes on the ground?

This consultation event will be an opportunity to take stock of what has been done to date, to highlight good practices, and to help clarify the recommendations that should be submitted to the World Humanitarian Summit.

The event focused on the following questions:

  • Certain groups of women and girls, including refugees and internally displaced as well as those with disabilities, are at higher risk of being targeted for gender-based violence. What are the most effective strategies to help decrease their risk and to respond to survivors’ needs? 
  • Are different approaches needed in conflicts versus natural disasters? In protracted crises versus rapid onset crises?         
  • Is there anything we can learn from the development sector or others working in the area of gender-based violence? Are there ways to partner with them to improve our efforts in humanitarian crisis settings? 
  • If not designed or communicated carefully, programs addressing violence against women and girls can portray and treat women as victims with little agency whom others need to keep safe or help receive care. Is there good practice regarding addressing this issue in a way that does not risk disempowering women?

Sexual violence against men and boys in crisis situations may not either be adequately addressed. However, as the factors involved are not always the same, this event will focus on the issue of violence against women and girls, and we hope to organize a separate event on this topic at a later date.


Jasveen Ahluwalia Jasveen Ahluwalia is working with CARE International (based in Geneva) as Senior Gender in Emergencies Specialist. She has 13 years of experience working with gender and health issues, including as Gender in Emergencies Advisor in Dadaab, Kenya and as Women and Girls Program Coordinator in Kabul, Afghanistan – both with CARE International. Jasveen’s resume includes work experience with Oxfam GB in Lucknow, India; with IFES Rajasthan, Actionaid Rajastan and Mahila Salah evam Suraksha Kendra, all in Jaipur, India.
Erin Kenny Erin Kenny is the Gender-based Violence Specialist within the Humanitarian Branch of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). In this role, she provides strategic and technical direction on all issues related to addressing gender-based violence in humanitarian contexts. Erin manages global-level capacity development initiatives to build the capacity of humanitarian actors to deliver high-quality gender-based violence programming and to coordinate multi-sectoral prevention and response efforts, designs and manages programs to improve data collection and usage, and engages in advocacy within and outside of the UN to position this issue as a life-saving component of humanitarian response. Since joining UNFPA, Erin has responded to emergencies in Liberia, Darfur, DRC, Uganda, Chad, Central African Republic, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Iraq, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Haiti, Colombia, the Philippines, South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Mali, Libya and Syria. Erin is also an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University where she teaches a Master-level course on Humanitarian Policy and Practice in the School of International and Public Affairs.
Adama Moussa Adama Moussa is the Deputy Director of UN Women's country office in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He has more than 15 years of working on gender issues at a local, national, regional and international level as a coordinator, trainer and evaluator for several organizations among which UNIFEM, UNFPA, the World Bank, Swiss cooperation, UN DAW (Division for the advancement of Women), Oxfamnovib. He is also a member of Genreenaction (a Network of gender specialist for French speaking countries). He is also a member of the Advisory board of Bridge Institute of Development studies (IDS, DPU, University College of London, and University of Sussex).
Allison Peters Allison Peters is Senior Policy Adviser at Inclusive Security Action, where she helps shape the organization’s strategies and outreach initiatives concerning the global women, peace, and security agenda. She also leads the organization’s policy work in Pakistan, working with Pakistani women leaders to conduct research and develop recommendations concerning women’s inclusion in efforts to counter violent extremism and terrorism.

Event host

Angharad Laing Angharad Laing Executive Director, International Association of Professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection (PHAP)


Event recording (YouTube - faster loading time)

Event recording (Adobe Connect - higher quality)

Event recording (downloadable audio podcast)

Event report

Event supported by

This World Humanitarian Summit consultation event is made possible with the support of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany